Fonegear Mini Blu Bluetooth headset
Even though big names like Jabra and Plantronics tend to dominate the Bluetooth headset space, we occasionally find real gems from smaller companies. The Mini Blu Bluetooth headset by Fonegear is one such example. Its simplicity is an asset, not a drawback, and we were impressed with its comfortable fit and decent sound quality. It's also quite affordable, from about $50 to $70.
The Fonegear Mini Blu Bluetooth headset has a tapered, oval design that's quite minimalist indeed. Covered mostly in black, it has a small strip of silver as a border. True to its Mini Blu name, the headset is tiny, measuring only 1.9 inches high by 0.5 inch deep by 0.75 inch long, and weighing around 3.2 ounces. You might not notice any buttons at first glance, but the upper third of the Mini Blu's front face is actually its multifunction control. We found it easy to use, even when the headset was worn on the ear. There are also blue and red LEDs located on the lower third of the Mini Blu. The blue LED flashes when the headset turns on, while the red lights shine when the headset shuts down. The lights alternate between red and blue when in pairing mode.
On the left spine are the volume controls. While they're raised above the surface, the buttons are quite tiny, which might frustrate those with large fingers. Also, unlike the aforementioned multifunction button, they were rather stiff and required quite a bit of pressure to press. On the back of the headset is the earpiece, with a gel-like earbud cover and a flexible ear loop that can be twisted to be worn on either ear. The headset comes with an optional in-ear earbud cover for a more snug fit. The headset's fit was more comfortable than we expected. It was really easy to slip this onto either ear, and the earpiece rests gently inside the ear. The ear loop was even thin enough that it didn't interfere with wearing glasses.
We paired the Mini Blu with a T-Mobile Sidekick 3 and the Samsung SCH-u740, and the process was smooth and easy. Yet unlike a lot of other headsets, the pairing passkey for the Mini Blu is 1234 instead of 0000. For such an affordable headset, we were impressed with its audio quality. We could hear our callers well, and they didn't have many problems hearing us either. There was quite a bit of static though, and call quality did suffer a little in windier environments, but the device should fine for talking in a car or a building. Features are pretty bare-bones: you can answer, reject, and end calls, redial the last number, put a call on mute, and transfer calls from the headset to the phone and vice versa. The headset also comes with a lanyard for easy portability. The Fonegear Mini Blue Bluetooth headset has a rated talk time of 4 hours and a rated standby time of three days and 3 hours.